CIBOLO – Building on partnerships with residents to keep the city safe is a priority for newly appointed Police Chief Bryan Hugghins, who has dreamed since age 8 of being a law officer.
Hugghins, the former interim chief, was sworn in March 24, replacing Gary Cox after the latter left the office last December.
“We strive to maintain the safe city status we enjoy right now because we partner with the citizens to keep their community safe for everyone,” said Hugghins, 46.
The department has 41 employees, with five more assigned to animal services. City leaders say Hugghins is the right person to lead them.
“The City Manager’s Office considered over a dozen qualified candidates for the police chief position,” said City Manager Robert Herrera. “Bryan Hugghins stood out amongst his peers for several reasons, including 20 years of experience from promoting through the ranks of the (Comal) County Sheriff’s Office, and his focus on leadership and supervisor training, along with a strong emphasis on accountability since beginning his career with the Cibolo Police Department in 2013.”
With a total of 25 years in law enforcement, Hugghins previously worked as the Support Services lieutenant for Cibolo; he started years ago as a Comal County dispatcher.
“With Chief Hugghins’ leadership and expertise, the Cibolo Police Department can continue to make a positive impact with our area citizens,” said Mayor Stosh Boyle. “I am pleased that we promoted one of our own.”
Hugghins says his vocation fulfills a childhood ambition.
“I consider myself lucky, as I wanted to be a law-enforcement officer since I was about 8 years old,” he said. “I have always had an interest in police work.” “My grandfather was a firefighter when I was a kid and I would wear his dress-uniform cap and badge, and pretend to be the policeman when playing cops and robbers with my cousins,” he added.
The new chief also stressed the importance of trust in his profession.
“The reality is leadership is not about rank, but about the ability to positively influence others to work together toward a common goal,” Hugghins said.
Negative media portrayals of police haven’t dimmed the public’s appreciation for the job officers do, he added.
“I know for a fact the majority of citizens still have a positive view of law-enforcement officers and the work they do on a daily basis. It still makes me happy to get a compliment or kudos from a citizen on one of our officers,” he said.
Dealing with the rapid commercial and residential expansion of the once-sleepy rural burg remains a key issue, Hugghins said.
“Tremendous growth is a challenge, but a pleasant challenge to have,” Cibolo’s top cop said. “Growth means more people, and more people means more issues to deal with as a Police Department. But in Cibolo, we have a great working relationship with our community and they support our efforts to keep up with areas of concern in the city.”
Cibolo leaders are working to offer additional services brought about by population expansion.
“As the city grows, we definitely have a plan in place to expand our department to match the growth,” the chief said. “We are always looking to strengthen partnerships, improve service and make our city a better place than it was yesterday.”